The Cardinals are a .500 team, once again, after defeating the Royals in Kauffman Stadium on Monday night.
Dexter Fowler made his return from the DL in the romp. He hit sixth, manned center field, got on base twice and scored both times. No, he hasn’t had his finest season but he still makes St. Louis’ lineup noticeably more dangerous. He, Tommy Pham, Randal Grichuk and Jose Martinez can all be in the same lineup with the DH.
You might think all that right-handed pop could give Jason Vargas some trouble on Tuesday but he’s better against righties because of that change-up that darts down and away. It really doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult for right-handed Major League hitters to do some damage against a guy like Vargas if they would just sit back and look to drive the outside pitch to right. He’s not going to beat you inside, even if you are looking out. You can usually count on the Cardinals taking a pretty savvy approach but only four of them have seen Vargas before, though they are 8-for-20. Matt Carpenter is 4-for-4 in his lifetime.
Michael Wacha doesn’t often see lineups as good as Kansas City’s in the National League. He has done a nice job this season, though. The stuff isn’t like it was in 2013 but 36 walks in over 110 innings will get it done. Opponents are hitting nearly .260, though, and this is a matchup with a good lineup that includes a DH. The bottom third of Kansas City’s lineup went 0-for on Monday night. Alex Gordon isn’t hitting a lick and Drew Butera sure isn’t Salvy but I doubt that will happen again on Tuesday.
It’s tough for me to say which starter is more likely to have a great night because I’m not too keen on either having one. I don’t see a disaster start coming but it feels like a game that could be into the bullpen early. Neither of the gangs hanging out in the outfield impress me much, while I’m at it.
If both teams can manage to put four across, we’ll at least push nine. I like at least that to happen.
Free Pick: Over 9.0 (-105)
Jason Vargas • kansas city royals • michael wacha • st. louis cardinals